LOCKPORT – The Town Board passed a 2014 budget Wednesday that left Town Supervisor Marc R. Smith “very excited.”
“This is the 10th consecutive budget we’ve had that hasn’t increased fees overall,” Smith said after the unanimous vote.
The $14.8 million budget reduces the total tax bill for a typical homeowner by a small amount. In most of the town, the assessed value averages $100,000, and such a homeowner will see a 2014 tax bill of $692.37, down $3.55 from the 2013 tab.
In the Carlisle Gardens subdivision, where the average assessment is $110,000, the reduction averages $3.72. In the Lincoln Village subdivision, with a $70,000 average assessment, the cut is $2.48.
The spending total shows an increase of $447,700, or 3.1 percent. Salaries for elected officials were increased 2.5 percent, except for Highway Superintendent David J. Miller, whom the Town Board considered underpaid compared with his colleagues around Niagara County.
The budget increased his base pay by 10.6 percent and added an extra $10,000 stipend for his drainage duties. Miller’s total pay rises from $61,379 this year to $77,913 after Jan. 1.
Other salaries: Smith, $51,501; Town Clerk Nancy A. Brooks, $51,058; Town Justice Leonard G. Tilney Jr. and Justice-elect Cheryl A. Antkowiak, $26,341 each; and the board members, $9,906 each except for the one to be chosen deputy supervisor, who will earn twice that amount.
Antkowiak was elected town justice Tuesday and will leave the Town Board at the end of the year.
Payments to the five volunteer fire companies serving parts of the town were increased 3 percent, in line with a multiyear contract. The 2014 figures will be $348,098 for South Lockport, $331,432 each to Rapids and Wrights Corners, $25,834 to Terry’s Corners and $23,050 to Gasport.
In another matter, the board approved a revision of its Civil Service Employees Association contract pertaining to overtime.
Smith said that up until now, anyone seeking to work overtime needed his permission.
The new plan sets full-time work at 35 hours a week but allows an employee to work up to 37.5 hours without seeing Smith. Overtime pay doesn’t kick in until after 40 hours a week, however.
“We have a lot of issues with the court in particular. Sometimes they have 300 people over there,” Smith said regarding the sources of overtime.
The Highway Department also has occasional overtime issues.
Also Wednesday, the board voted to ask the state Department of Transportation to study reducing the speed limit on Penrith and Rydalmount roads and Ambleside Drive around DeSales Catholic School from 30 mph to 20 mph.
The board awarded a $12,663 contract to Parkitects of Lansing to make repairs to playground equipment in Day Road Park.